Friday, October 5, 2012
Head On In To Portray Power Products
Researchers at Cornell University and University of Michigan showed some study participants pictures of SUVs facing directly toward the viewer, while others were shown side views of the vehicles. The consumers seeing the head-on perspective gave higher average ratings of the SUV on words like “dominant” and “powerful.” Then another set of study participants, asked to assess the status and power of the SUV’s owner, were more likely to say “high status, high power” if shown the head-on view of the vehicle than if shown the side view.
When the same experiments were done with pictures of family sedans, there were no differences in the degree of rated power for the car or for the owners. The conclusion: People seeking the product associated with power will get more interested if the view is head-on.
A verbal head-on, in the form of a heads-up, also can make a difference. A team of researchers from France, Australia, and the U.S. told study participants they’d be given either a beef sausage roll or a vegetarian roll to eat. But those tricky researchers had lied to half the participants, who actually were served the other entrée from the one they were promised.
One group of those participants granted a high rating to what they ate, regardless of whether they actually ate the meat or vegetable version, as long as they thought it was meat. What does this have to do with valuing power? Unlike the veggie fans, these meat elitists showed up on psychological testing as embracing values of power and strength.
The way in which salespeople face customers also can play a role: It is 10:00 AM. The doors open at the Tobu Department Store in Tokyo, and as the shoppers enter, the neatly dressed salespersons are standing ramrod straight at their respective counters. Then as the first shoppers of the day pass, each salesperson bows gracefully.
But the customers usually don’t bow back.
It’s not as if the Japanese are shy about bowing. They bow toward trains arriving at stations. Children bow toward cars that have stopped so the children can cross the street. No, the dearth of reciprocal bowing isn’t because of a lack of habit. It’s an acknowledgement of power difference. The Tobu employees bow down before the power of the shopper. Head-on.
Click below for more:
Sell Benefits to Fit Shoppers’ Values
Bow Down Before the Shopper’s Power
Posted by Bruce D. Sanders, Ph.D. at 9:00 AM